Pirzada

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The Pirzada (Peerzada) family
Place of origin Paktia,
Afghanistan
Name origin and meaning Persian for "Son of a saint"

A Pirzada (Persian: پیرزاده ‎‎) is historically described as official custodians of Sufi mausoleums and shrines in Muslim lands, with their earliest mentions being in Baghdad, Iraq, during the period of the Umayyad caliphate. Often a Peerzada was a descendant of those buried within the tomb they were assigned to, hence most of the Peerzadas are syeds.

It also serves as surname for their ascendants in many Indo-Aryan cultures and their accompanying languages, with Peerzada translating into “the son of a saint” in Persian. Today, predominantly-Muslim families bearing the name can be found in various regions around the world, including Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the northern regions of India. Much of their lineage can be traced to the central Asian plateaus, consisting of the Soviet Union’s former republics, such as Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. Much of the modern-day Peerzada diaspora derives from the mass migration of the community from Central Asia towards several different areas immediately at a date that is estimated to be sometime during the 15th century.

Diaspora[edit]

Peerzadas of India and Pakistan[edit]

Peerzadas found within Pakistan are most likely to belong to either the Punjabi, Siraiki, Sindhi, Urdu Speaking ethnic groups, as these regions comprise Pakistan’s northernmost borders. The earliest recorded instance of the surname lays in a Mughal court official named Nur-ud-din Peerzada, who served at the Serai Nurmahal in the city of Nurmahal in Punjab, in 1693. By the time the Indian subcontinent was fully under control of the British Empire, Ehsan Peerzada ran a carpet-weaving guild in Amritsar that wove rugs for use by members of the British Royal Family, and Anglo aristocrats that resided in the British Raj, such as Sir John Lawrence, the first British governor of the Punjab province. At the time of partition of India in 1947, Peerzadas still resided primarily in the city of Amritsar, the bastion of Sikhism in the province of Punjab, with their eventual migration to the Pakistani portion of Punjab leading to their eventual spreading out over the province, albeit with a concentration of individuals in the city of Lahore. Family of MIAN ABDULLAH JAHANIA SOHARWARDI NEKOKARA is most notable family of pirzada tribe they migrated from madina to karbala and then to soharwarda IRAN there all remained for more than 2oo years than with SYED JALAL UD DIN BOUKHARI of UCH SHARIF they all migrated and settled in district VEHARI of Pakistan. Some of them later moved to United Kingdom. And some namely pirzada's are in Karachi known for their generosity and kindness they mostly live in hazratabad.

Peerzadas of Kashmir[edit]

Peerzadas in Kashmir moved from Iran and Turkey to Kashmir with Muslim missionaries to spread Islam. The family name Peer also exist in Kashmir are purely pandits, and some of them reverted to Islam. The family name Peer is also common in Israel as it is believed that Kashmir is the lost tribe of Jews. The marriages between Syeds and Peerzadas have been common in Kashmir since spread of Islam in Kashmir. Most of the Peerzadas in Kashmir have the suffix as Shah, Owaisi, Abtahie with there names owing to the origin in Iran or Turkey.

Peerzadas of Turkey[edit]

The origins of Peerzadas as they lay in Central Asia also translated into their presence in the realms of the former Ottoman Empire. As late as 1710, Ottoman census records indicate Peerzadas residing in Turkish municipalities such Istanbul, Denizli, Bursa, and Tokat, with their professions revolving around textiles, finance, and military service. Cüneyt Peerzada held the rank of Binbaşı, or Major, in the Kapıkulu Süvarileri, or Six Divisions of Cavalry of the Ottoman Empire, as per records from 1741. The Peerzadas of Turkey also practiced carpet-weaving in much of the same fashion as their counterparts in the Indian subcontinent, with Ottoman tax receipts displaying a thriving artisan practice in Tokat as late as 1874. Today, Peerzadas, having fully assimilated into Turkish society, can be found living mainly in the country’s economical and social hubs of Istanbul and Ankara, while retaining ties with their kin in other countries such as Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan.

Peerzadas of Iran[edit]

Peerzadas were first recorded in modern-day Persia during the rule of the Qajar Dynasty, which ruled Iran from 1785 to 1925. Census records indicate their first presence being in the village of Urmia, close to the border with Azerbaijan, in the year 1783, although they had been a mainstay in the region for close to a century prior. Originally a farming community, Peerzadas eventually began to emerge as an astute family of financial bankers in the cities of Tehran and Qom, with tax records indicating their roles as facilitators of mercantile trade and credit among officials of the Qajar dynasty and foreigners wishing to ship their wares to Persia. Some Peerzadas eventually harnessed their financial backgrounds for the purpose of the Qajar themselves, with an upwards of six generations of the family serving as civil servants and bureaucrats for the government till the last-recorded instance of 1911. In addition, Peerzadas combined their expertise in textiles and finance in order to benefit from Isfahan’s status as the artisan hub of Islamic crafts and goods, as the family not only wove, but handled the business behind their own autonomous carpeting businesses.

Peerzadas of Afghanistan[edit]

The Peerzadas of Afghanistan were relatively few in number: the community never expanded beyond a few dozen patrons of a single family, although a minority of them are found in the city of Ghazni Afghanistan.

Demographics[edit]

Religion[edit]

An overwhelming majority of the Peerzada diaspora is affiliated with Islam due to their origins in Central Asia, although there does exist a diversity in regards to the sects and subdivisions of the faith. Peerzada s found in Pakistan and Northern India sympathize with the Sunni branch of Islam, while there exists a small minority of them within them who actively profess faith in the Aga Khan and subsequently the practices of the Shia Imami Ismaili Nizaris.A few belong to Sikh community.

Ethnicity[edit]

At their core, every individual belonging to the Peerzada family comes from an Uzbek bloodline originating in Central Asia. As communities and individuals began eventually migrating both within and out of the region, a host of new ethnic backgrounds began to rear their presence, as unions and child-rearing have resulted in the present state of the Peerzada diaspora serving as the foundation stone of an upwards of five racial groups, such as Uzbeks, Turks, Persians and Punjabis. To a lesser extent, Tajiks also comprise a small pocket of the diaspora's background, while ethnically Kyrgyz people were often not a part of the cultural diffusion Peerzadas engaged in at all.

List of notable Peerzadas[edit]

References[edit]